"A king, known for his cruel nature, finds out that his daughter, the princess, is in love with a common courtier," is the opening sentence description to this year's performance put on by the Rugby One Act Play team.
The North Dakota High School Activities Association sponsors the One Act competition, where teams compete by putting on a short, one-act play in order to advance to the regional and state competitions.
Shannon Miller directs the Rugby team's performance of Burton Bumgarner's "The Lady or The Tiger?" with the assistance of Kyle Vareberg.
The cast of 'The Lady or The Tiger?' are, back row, from left to right: Lilly Schmidt, Sasha Klein, Riley Grove, Madalyn Pretzer, Hayden Thingvold, Kyler Odden (below Hayden), Anders Johnson, Landen Foster and Beth Boucher; and front row, from left to right: Ashlee Johnson, Trenton Sanford, Brittany Loughman, Maria Mack, Kaitlyn Boucher, John Mueller and Melody Johnson
Not pictured: Nick Adam and Jacob Christianson
Miller, RHS Language Arts teacher, chose this play adaptation of the short story by Frank R. Stockton because of her interest in the short story, which she has taught in her literature classes in the past.
The 35-minute play, set in a mythical kingdom in the distant past, follows the journey of the common courtier, who has been punished by the king. He is given two doors to choose from, behind one is a tiger and behind the other is a lady. If he chooses the tiger, he ultimately chooses his death. If he chooses the lady, he chooses marriage to someone other than the princess.
Over the course of the play, the princess discovers which fate lay beyond each door and plans to signal to the young man which to choose.
"The idea is that, would she rather him die or be with someone else?" Miller said.
The one-act play does differ from the short story in that the writer has modernized the story line and added humor. Miller said she also has tried to direct the play differently than the short story would allow.
"That's the interesting part about literature, the interpretation," Miller said. "I want to leave it up to the audience's interpretation."
This is Miller's 15th performance as director for the Rugby One Act Play team. "I have really grown up with [the performing arts]," she said. "My mom is the director for Rugby's Village Arts, so growing up, I was always in the auditorium. Everything I have learned about theater, I learned from watching her."
"The Lady or The Tiger?" will have a public performance on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. in the Rugby High School Auditorium. Tickets are $1 for students and $2 for adults.
The regional competition will be held in Rugby on Thursday, Nov. 3, during school hours. Competitors include Rugby High School, Lakota High School, Langdon Area High School, Maddock High School, Rolette High School and Harvey-Wells County.
The top two placing teams will move on to the state competition to be held in Jamestown, Nov. 21-22.
Crewmembers for "The Lady or The Tiger?" include Kyle Ebach, Bobby Hartl and Brett Berginski. Cast Members include Kaitlyn Boucher, John Mueller, Maria Mack, Kyler Odden, Madalyn Pretzer, Trenton Sanford, Jacob Christianson, Riley Grove, Sasha Klein, Lilly Schmidt, Melody Johnson, Brittany Loughman, Landen Foster, Anders Johnson, Beth Boucher, Hayden Thingvold, Nick Adam and Ashlee Johnson.